The purpose of our NIH-sponsored training program in immunology and virology, which has just completed its 23rd year, is to recruit talented, well-trained, and well-motivated graduate students and give them first rate preparation for competitive careers in academic research and industry. This training program is sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Medical School's (UMMS) Interdepartmental Immunology and Microbiology Program (IMP) Committee. This group fosters immunology and virology research and training at UMMS and offers a PhD specialization in Immunology and Microbiology as part of a larger school-wide graduate program overseen by the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS). The training faculty is a subset of the IMP faculty and consists of 24 preceptors representing 6 UMMS Departments. As of 8/1/13 there were 49 predoctoral students committed to or enrolled in the IMP. We previously have been funded for 4 predoctoral and one postdoctoral fellow and are now seeking stipends for 5 predoctoral fellows, as we discontinue our Training Grant-sponsored postdoctoral training program. Research training in the IMP is an interdisciplinary, cooperative undertaking, which depends upon and has contributed to regular interaction among students and faculty from different clinical and basic science departments. It is characterized by a structured curriculum, by intense faculty involvement, and by a formalized emphasis on developing skills in hypothesis-driven research, in sophisticated molecular screening approaches, and in research communication. Strengths of this program include combining sophisticated molecular and cellular immunology approaches and intense collaborative research in the areas of 1. viral (including influenza and HIV) immunology, biodefense, and vaccine design;2. toll receptor signaling and innate immunity;3. transplantation and development of humanized mouse models;and 4. gene therapy, with an eye toward translating this basic research into the clinic. This NIH supported Immunology Training Grant has been an integral part of our program for the past 23 years, and we are requesting another 5 years of support.
This is an application to recruit talented, well-trained, and well-motivated graduate students and give them first rate preparation for competitive careers in academic research and industry in the areas of immunology and virology.
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